TORONTO – A TTC bus driver will shave her head so a friend’s autistic child can get the medically necessary treatment he’s being denied.
Maureen Manning, a resident of Barrie, Ontario, will shave her head to help make sure fellow employee Terry French’s seven-year-old son Tyler, of Alcona, Ont., can get Intensive Behavioural Intervention treatment (IBI).

“I manage to see Tyler every few months and with the minimal amount of therapy his parents can afford, this young man has made amazing strides. I can only imagine what he could accomplish with this therapy on a more frequent and long-term basis,” Manning said.

Autism is a neurological disorder affecting a person’s ability to learn, communicate and socially interact. IBI therapy teaches autistic children how they learn best, by breaking down skills into small, simple steps to be taught repetitiously with a reward system.

Tyler was on a waiting list for IBI Therapy but was removed at age 6 without ever receiving therapy. The provincial government doesn’t cover IBI therapy for children older than 6.

Tyler receives just three of the 35 to 40 hours of IBI therapy he needs a week through a private clinic. His parents can’t afford more than that because the costly therapy costs $30 per hour.

“I hope my co-workers and the general public rise to the occasion and help get Tyler the IBI therapy he needs,” Manning said.

The fund-raising event takes place August 6. Manning (Badge # 52043) hopes to raise at least $5,000. Donations can be made by cash or cheque made out to TYLER FRENCH TRUST or by direct deposit account number 01172 0078727 at any Scotiabank.

Media contact: Elisa French (705) 436-3607, Maureen Manning (705) 737-5233

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